Monthly Archives: March 2014

Forget talent and intelligence – Grit gets you success

Talent and intelligence will get you only so far. The key ingredient to success, says Duckworth, is grit. It’s that special something that keeps certain people dedicated to their goal (whether it involves their studies, their projects, their clients, or something else) for the long haul, determined to accomplish what they set out to do. It’s a fascinating concept—one that recently won Duckworth a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant. 

This is a fascinating article on Angela Duckworth by Laura W Geller in Strategy and Business

angela duckworth

Angela Duckworth is the creator of The Grit Survey, which I came across during one of our modules on our Masters. We had to complete a survey at Authentic Happiness, the initiative developed by Dr Martin Seligman, Director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and founder of positive psychology, a branch of psychology which focuses on the empirical study of such things as positive emotions, strengths based characters and healthy institutions.

The Grit Survey, asesses the tendency to sustain interest in and effort toward very long-term goals (Duckworth, Peterson, Matthews, & Kelly, 2007) and so of course similar to perseverance. The Grit Survey consists of 22 questions which the respondent answers by rating themselves ‘Not at all like me / A little like me / Somewhat like me / Mostly like me / Very much like me’ so a  variation on the common 1-5 Leikert scale.

Take the test here

Here is my Grit Score: I think I have a bit of work to do!

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How to never give up on becoming an entreprenuer

If you are thinking about giving up right now, wait until you read this. Here is why – your worst days come right before success. There are 7 big reasons why you should never give up.

This article from Funders and Founders gives a great insight into entrepreneurialism.

Written by  Startup Evangelist and Infographic Author


how-to-never-give-up-on beomcing an entreprenuer

Jonathan Adams


Working in film and video was never a career choice for Jonathan – it was simply his default position! By the time he’d graduated high school he’d made 8 or 9 short films, including the screwball comedy “May the Best Man Win” and the musical satire “SCHOOL! The Musical”. The multi award-winning black comedy “Some Kind of Crazy” and the fantasy-adventure “10 Minutes” soon followed, representing major technical and creative milestones.

In 2007 Jonathan founded Progressive Pictures, which encompassed a range of video services from creative development and production to live event coverage and corporate video. By 2012 Progressive Pictures had grown to become one of Sydney’s premiere Corporate Video production houses, having worked on major training and communication projects for Integral (Endeavour) Energy, QBE Insurance, Stockland Group, 2and2, the NSW Government and many others.
At Progressive Pictures, Jonathan specialised in large-scale, scripted training scenario’s featuring large casts and a complex camera methodology, bringing a cinematic flavour and emotional hook to corporate learning and development. These experiences represented invaluable lessons in marrying his creative impulses with a strict corporate pragmatism.
In 2012, Jonathan partnered with eLearning company 2and2 to write, direct and produce all video for the Lend Lease EH&S Passport program, which went on to win the prestigious Platinum LearnX Award and “Best in Class” at the U.S. Interactive Media Awards. In early 2013, Progressive Pictures and 2and2 continued their collaboration on the Energy Efficiency Assist program for the Australian Industry Group and the Difficult Conversations education tool for the Fair Work Ombudsmen.
Jonathan has come to appreciate the delicate balance between art and commerce, a common interest he shares with TEN ALPHAS founder Nick Bolton. With the slew of digital innovations, it’s an exciting time for the filmmaker and as Creative Director Jonathan’s ten years of production experience will help bring Ten Alphas to the forefront of digital content creation.

With the slew of digital innovations, it’s an exciting time for the filmmaker. TEN ALPHAS is at the forefront of digital content creation.

With the “Relativity” web series, Jonathan has married an old-fashioned serial adventure with big questions about humanity’s place in the universe. And with the feature film Rough Stuff, his love of the Wild West and thirst for far-off adventure is married to questions of certainty and doubt in our polarised political climate.



Luke Graham

luke grahamBiography:

Luke Graham has built a career creating multi award winning short films, including “Spoonman”, “Bella” “Comfortable” , “Bee Sting” and “The Last Roll of the Dice”.

Luke started film production house Scope Red in 2005 specialising in music videos, corporate videos and television commercials, which he worked with multiple directors including Heath Davis who continued their collaboration with “Bee Sting” which has played at major international film festivals including the prestigious Aspen Shortsfest.

“Braille”, his micro budget first feature film recently received distribution in the USA with Osiris Entertainment, its third territory internationally behind South Africa and Japan through IFM Films.


Links to Luke:


Films – The Big Lap

Having presented The Art of Perseverance in documentary filmmaking, at AIDC DocWeek, I was thrilled with the response and even more so when filmmakers then reached out to me wanting to have their story of perseverance told. Steve Baile was one such filmmaker and we spent an enjoyable half an hour discussing his very personal story behind his travel film The Big Lap. I will post an overview of the interview soon.

Film: The Big Lap
the big lap

Synopsis: Have you ever dreamed of taking a year or two and driving around Australia You’re not alone!

From backpackers to couples, families to grey nomads, more and more people are turning their back on the rat race and heading off in search of adventure on a ‘Big Lap’ of this incredible continent . . . Australia. But is it just really one bug holiday…..

For the Baile family, Steve, Jen and their daughters Savanna and Sara, finally hitting the road was the realisation of over seven years of dreaming and planning and at times it seemed their ‘big trip’ would never get off the ground.

From the time they decided to go to the day they drove out of the driveway there were many factors that could have easily derailed their plans – they had two babies, they had to sell their printing business and their house, and they spent two years saving just to be able to afford to go at all.


Film Links

steve baile

Steve Baile – Filmmaker / Travel Blogger / Photographer / Adventure Traveller – I’m a road trip junkie! There’s nothing I love more than packing up the 4WD or motorbike and heading for the horizon in search of new adventures. In 2005-2007 I travelled 46,600 km over 16 months around Australia with my wife Jen and 2 young daughters and made a 10 episode documentary series, The Big Lap. Now I divide my time between running Expedition Australia and planning the next adventure.

About Steve Baile

Steve Baile

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 10.22.30 amBiography:

I’m a road trip junkie! There’s nothing I love more than packing up the 4WD or motorbike and heading for the horizon in search of new adventures. In 2005-2007 I travelled 46,600 km over 16 months around Australia with my wife Jen and 2 young daughters and made a 10 episode documentary series, The Big Lap. Now I divide my time between running Expedition Australia and planning the next adventure.Steve Baile

Links to Steve:
Website 1: 2:


Mark Grentell

Mark GrentellBiography:

Mark was born and raised in regional NSW in the City of Wagga Wagga. He has always been an active member of his community and in 2005 he was named Young Wagga Citizen of the Year for his contributions to theatre and youth in his community. In 2004, he completed his Bachelor of Primary Education, specialising in the areas of drama and music. Mark was a tutor and coordinator for the Riverina Young Peoples Theatre and for Outback Theatre for Young People working on a diverse range of youth theatre projects throughout regional NSW. In 2005 Mark was invited to do a mentorship with the New York Theatre Workshop. Mark has also produced and directed award-winning productions of Musicals such as RENT, Beauty and the Beast and the 25thAnnual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Mark has also created a broad selection of award winning cabaret shows.

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In 2008 Mark graduated from NIDA with a post graduate degree in Directing studies. Since graduating from NIDA Mark has worked for many of Australia’s major theatre companies and organisations including STC, Griffin, Gordon Frost Organisation, Arts Asia Pacific and New Theatricals. Mark was recently Assistant Director to Tony Award winning director Des McAnuff on the new musical Doctor Zhivago and was the Resident Director on the Australian production of the musical Rock of Ages. Mark is the Artistic Director of Crow Crow Productions, a company that focuses on developing and presenting new works from regionally based artists. Mark is the Co-writer, Producer and Director of the new Australian feature film Backyard Ashes. The film will be his feature film directorial debut.

There is almost 30 years age difference between myself and Peter Cox, yet it never feels more than a day. We seem to always be on the same page, sometimes having the same ideas in different cities at the same time and rarely, if ever, creatively disagreeing. We were best of mates when this started and even closer when it was all said and done. I think that honest and true mateship is present in the film. Mark Grentell

Links to Mark: